Trying to balance work, family and life can be a challenge for us all. In a recent professional development webinar, Working to Balance Life, the presenter not only laid the foundation for finding personal work-life balance but she also offered feedback for employers, supervisors and managers who are trying to retain and strengthen their workforce while seeking balance.
When you are feeling unbalanced it may be helpful to do a self-audit of areas and activities where you can get your energy and balance back. Negotiating balance in the workforce can be essential.
Many businesses and organizations are beginning to implement work-family initiatives into their plan of work so as to perceive a more family-friendly and attractive organization, while reducing burnout and turnover ratios of their employees (Kelly et al., 2008).
Work-family initiatives that many of us are familiar with include:
- Part-time work
- Job sharing
- Compressed work week
- Partially paid family leaves
- Pre-tax spending accounts for dependent care
- Information and referral accounts to find care
- On-site child care
These initiatives vary among organizations and businesses and you may need to do a little research to see what is or is not offered in your professional setting and if your position is eligible for such initiatives.
Management support can be a critical variable in determining if work-life initiatives are actually used within the workforce. Employees are less likely to take advantage of initiatives if there is a lack of management support. When we have the support of supervisors in regards to utilizing work-life initiatives, studies have shown a positive impact in employee’s performances. Such impacts include:
- Greater work-family balance
- Lower work-family conflict
- More perceived success in work and life
- More loyalty to the organization or business
- More job satisfaction
- Lower employee turnover
Professional development training for employers and employees may be helpful to determine what work-life initiatives are available, how to communicate between both parties on finding balance and identifying the best initiative for overall success.
To learn more about work-life balance and how it can affect not only balances in the workforce, but also maintaining balance within your personal life go to, Working to Balance Life, by Sandra B. Morissette, Ph.D.